About Eat at Lu’s

My name is Lisa Beiswenger, and this website is dedicated to exploring food in all its forms: the good, the bad, and the ugly.This project began in 2011 when I began to develop vegan and vegetarian recipes for my cooking blog.  In 2016, the project expanded into a podcast and blog where I cook recipes from the past.  While cooking, I explore the history, science, and social life of food and cooking.  
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Real Eats, meal subscription review

New Meal Subscription Review! I’ve been getting meal subscription boxes off an on for the past two years, but most of them have been ones I’ve already tried. This week, however, I decided to try something new: Real Eats.

Real Eats is a little different from the normal meal subscription service. It’s all boil-in-bag and ready in 6 minutes or less (great for my busy schedule). You just pop the packets in a pot of boiling water to heat them, and voila, you have delicious meal. Another benefit of Real Eats is that you can order single servings of up to 12 different dinners, so if you’re cooking for one, you won’t get bored!

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Like other meal delivery services, the meals come in an insulated box with ice packs. The packaging was fairly standard, but there were no recipe cards since there’s no real cooking.

The major downside is the price of the box. The 4 dinner meal plan is $15 per meal or $60 per week. The cost per meal decreases with the number of meals, so the 6 dinner meal plan (the one I ordered) is $13.50 per meal or $81 per week, and the 12 dinner meal box is $12.50 per meal (or $150 per week). By comparison, the 6 plate plan with Blue Apron and Home Chef is $60. Real Eats also offers breakfasts which range from $6 per meal for 4 meals or $4 per meal for 12 meals.

Dish 1: Mushroom Ragout with Cheesy Polenta and Roasted Carrots

 

I was extremely impressed by the meal. The carrots needed a few flakes of salt, but the ragout and polenta were amazing. I wish I had the recipe because I would love to make it again. The sauce was silky smooth and the mushrooms were flavorful. The dish was garnished with marinated tomatoes which added a delightful hit of acid to the dish.

Removing the food from the bags kind of made me feel like I was eating like an astronaut. The downside was squeezing the hot food out of their bags. It was not fun for the fingers.

It doesn’t look like they change the entire list of menus every week. If I could afford to get this service without the new subscriber discount, I would totally order the mushroom ragout again. It was that good.

Dish 2: Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Root Vegetables and Red Rice

This meal wasn’t great. The meatloaf needed some kind of sauce and the rice was undercooked and very bland. Some of the root vegetables were ok, but there was something in there that was extremely bitter. The whole thing just seemed a little incohesive and lackluster, especially compared to the mushroom ragout from Wednesday.

Dish 3: Chicken Ramen

It was wonderfully flavorful, if a touch salty. The noodles were broken, but I didn’t mind because they had a great flavor and texture. The chicken was a bit too toothy, but because of the cooking method, it wasn’t dry. It was a perfectly passable ramen which helped to soothe the grumpy belly I’ve been suffering with all day.

Dish 4: Miso Salmon with Sesame Rice and Roasted Bok Choy

The rice was a little bland and undercooked and the salmon was a little dry and overcooked. I liked the roasted bok choy after I added a touch of salt. Overall, the meal was a little bland. It needed some salt or acid to bring everything together.

Dish 5: Maitake Cod with Mushrooms and Parsnip Puree

I don’t know where they’re getting their mushrooms, but they sure do have great mushrooms. I also loved the parsnip puree. The fish was a little mealy and strangely bland. I’m not a huge fan of green olives, but somehow they were the least flavorful olives I have ever tasted.

Dish 6: Honey Soy Salmon with Ginger Carrots and Scallion Brown Rice

Again, the fish was overcooked, but I really liked the scallion brown rice. It was pleasantly toothy (but not undercooked) and very flavorful. The ginger carrots needed a little salt and ginger, but they were crisp and flavorful. The salmon was a little overcooked and there was hardly any soy or honey flavor, but of the three fish dishes, this was my favorite.
 
Real Eats Summary
Ease/clarity of recipes: 10/10 (boil in bag, 3 or 6 minutes – not too much to mess up there)
Taste: 7/10
Variety: 10/10
Quality: 8/10
 
How many recipes would I make again? 3/6
 
The Verdict: The mushroom ragout dish was amazing. I want to learn how to make it myself. The turkey meatloaf was awful. The big plus about this service is that it has great variety, and it’s really quick to prepare. It’s better than frozen food, and it only takes a few more minutes to heat than a Lean Cuisine. I really appreciated being able to just pop my meals into a pot of water after a long day of teaching and then working as a diet aide.  The biggest downside was the price. I’d pay $15 for some of these meals in a restaurant, but I probably wouldn’t return for another visit.
Overall Rating: C

This week I try an Icing Pen with the help of Scout. I wish I could say who produced it, but I can’t because it doesn’t say on the box.  I bought it from Amazon, and it’s actually pretty sturdy and well made.